Anthony Davis is available for trade. We know this. We know the Pelicans are basically freezing out the Lakers, while seeking a promise ring from the Celtics. Odds are the February 7th deadline will come and go without Davis being moved. In the meantime, we can write some fan fiction for trades involving Davis that aren’t with the Lakers or Celtics.
New Orleans Receives: D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, their choice of DeMarre Carroll or Allen Crabbe, unprotected 2019 Brooklyn first round pick, top-12 protected Denver first round pick
Brooklyn Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Fraizer, Chieck Diallo
Why New Orleans Does It: They desperately need a point guard and Russell is looking like something has clicked for him. He will be a restricted free agent after the season so the Pelicans can match any offer. Jarrett Allen is a walking highlight. If New Orleans prefers clearing salary they can take on Carroll’s expiring deal, or if they wish to add a shooting wing they can take Crabbe. The Nets will for sure make the playoffs this season if they add Davis, meaning both first rounders headed to New Orleans figure to fall in the 20’s.
Why Brooklyn Does It: It’s Anthony Davis. Plus, securing him increases the odds of the Nets going out into free agency in the summer and adding another star. Russell’s trade value has never been higher than it is right now and Brooklyn faces either overpaying to retain Russell after the season or seeing him leave for nothing.
New Orleans Receives: Domantas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young, Tyreke Evans, unprotected 2019 first round pick, top-8 protected 2021 first round pick
Indiana Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Fraizer, Chieck Diallo
Why New Orleans Does It: Both Young and Evans are on expiring contracts. If the Pelicans want to shed salary they can let both walk after the season. Alternatively, they can overpay one or both to keep them around in an effort to remain competitive with Jrue Holiday. Domantas Sabonis is having a borderline All-Star season at age 22 and has another season of cost control after this. They pick up two firsts, one of which could be a back half of the lottery selection.
Why Indiana Does It: This is the only pathway a market/team like Indiana has to a top 5 player. Davis will never consider going to Indiana as a free agent, and the Pacers are too good to win the lottery. If Oladipo makes a full recovery, how good of a core is Davis/Oladipo/Myles Turner? I’d love to find out.
New Orleans Receives: Pascal Siakam, Jonas Valancunias, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, 2021 top-10 protected first round pick
Toronto Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Frazier, Chieck Diallo, Elfrid Payton
Why New Orleans Does It: Everyone’s favorite breakout star is the centerpiece here. Siakam is 24th in RPM and 25th in PIPM as of this writing. The 24 year old still has another season of cost control after this year.
Also let’s settle something. Zach Lowe interviewed Siakam on his podcast and said that Siakam’s spin move needs a name. This is so obvious. The answer is “Spinakam.” You’re welcome, and I expect a cut of all royalties.
Valancunias is a good player the team can sell to it’s fan base as “hey, look, we’re remaining competitive!” Anunoby is a 3-and-D wing and VanVleet provides a huge upgrade at point guard. How good is a starting five of FVV-Holiday-OG-Siakam-Valancunias? Let’s find out.
Why Toronto Does It: To go all in. How good can Kyle Lowry-Danny Green-Kawhi Leonard-Serge Ibaka-Anthony Davis be? Probably exceptional. Would such a team be the biggest threat to the Warriors the league has ever seen? It’s possible.
The critics will say this is a lot to give up for a potential rental, especially in the event that Kawhi leaves. I would argue a team inheriting Davis to go for it this season has some built in risk protection. If Kawhi leaves in the summer and come next February the team has a sense Davis will leave in the summer of 2020, the team can trade Davis to recoup some of the value it shipped out to get him. Or if Kawhi leaves the team can pivot immediately and sell off Davis to the highest bidder this July.
New Orleans Receives: Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., lottery protected 2021 first round pick
Denver Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Fraizer, Chieck Diallo
Why New Orleans Does It: Paul Millsap has a team option for next season, so if the Pelicans wanted to they could keep him around to say to their fan base “hey, look, we’re remaining competitive!” The real get here is everything else. Jamal Murray is in the sweet spot of a guy on his rookie contract where there is reasonably high confidence he turns into a star. Michael Porter represents a swing for the fences upside type player, and the Pels get a future first on top.
Why Denver Does It: Similar to Indiana, this is the pathway to getting a top 5 player for Denver. While the team does have a very good core locked in, this is Anthony Davis. This team really might be able to push the Warriors.
New Orleans Receives: Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, 4 first round picks
Houston Receives: Anthony Davis, Darius Miller
Why New Orleans Does It: Clint Capela is on an excellent contract that has four years remaining after this season. Eric Gordon will give the Pelicans scoring. If Daryl Morey was willing to offer 4 first round picks for Jimmy Butler he must be willing to do it for Davis.
Why Houston Does It: Because Daryl Morey’s whole thing is “get stars and figure it out later.” Plus Houston can use Miller’s shooting, especially if they’re shipping out Gordon.
New Orleans Receives: Zach Randolph, Marvin Bagley, Buddy Hield, top-10 protected 2021 first round pick
Sacramento Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Fraizer, Chieck Diallo
Why New Orleans Does It: Zach Randolph provides cap relief while Marvin Bagley was just the 2nd pick of the draft and it is possible he represents the potential future All-NBA level player the Pelicans want in return. Buddy Hield hasn’t missed a three-point attempt in approximately 647 days.
Why Sacramento Does It: If the team ever wanted a shot at a top 5 player, here is the chance. There is no other way to get someone as good as Davis to Sacramento, other than striking gold in the draft. With De’Aaron Fox and loads of cap space, it’s possible the Kings could put together a real roster around Davis that is competitive enough to convince him to stay.
New Orleans Receives: C.J. McCollum, Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons, unprotected 2019 first round pick
Portland Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Frazier, Chieck Diallo
Why New Orleans Does It: They can say to their fan base “hey, look, we’re remaining competitive!” and actually mean it. McCollum may be the best veteran made available to the team, while Collins has flashed upside and improvement in his second season. Simons represents a swing for upside, and the team gets a first round pick in 2019.
Why Portland Does It: Another team with no other pathway to getting significantly better. One must figure that eventually Damian Lillard will want to be in a position to compete for championships. A Davis-Nurkic anchored defense would really be something else.
New Orleans Receives: LaMarcus Aldridge, Jakob Poeltl, Lonnie Walker, Dejounte Murray, unprotected San Antonio 2019 first round pick, top-20 protected 2019 Toronto first round pick
San Antonio Receives: Anthony Davis, Tim Frazier, Chieck Diallo, Darius Miller
Why New Orleans Does It: LaMarcus Aldridge is a floor raiser despite not being a ceiling raiser. The team really can tell it’s fan base they’re remaining competitive. New Orleans is also shopping both Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle, suggesting one or both will not be on the team next season. Therefore, Poeltl would fill a need. Lonnie Walker is an upside player while Murray is potentially a huge improvement at the point guard position. They also get Toronto’s first rounder this season.
Why San Antonio Does It: The Spurs see the ceiling on their team and make a move to get back into title contention. Upgrading from Aldridge to Davis is that big of a jump, and that is not a slight to Aldridge. The team believes that once Davis spends enough time in their program and culture he will want to remain long term.
FOR THE SUMMER
New Orleans Receives: Danillo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 2020 Philadelphia first round pick, unprotected 2021 Miami first round pick
Los Angeles Receives: Anthony Davis
Why New Orleans Does It: Gallinari is having a really good season and can help the team immediately. SGA is a high upside player, and the unprotected 2021 Miami pick has the potential to land high up in the lottery.
Why Los Angeles Does It: The Clippers want to clear the space for two max slots this offseason. In order to do so the team will have to shed Gallinari’s contract. While this isn’t shedding the deal, they’re still landing Anthony Davis. It also gives the team a starting point in terms of convincing someone else to team up with him.